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China understands Japan’s entry restrictions with little objection

China understands Japan’s entry restrictions with little objection

Posted March. 07, 2020 07:52,   

Updated March. 07, 2020 07:52


China has shown a somewhat different reactions from South Korea in the wake of Japan’s travel limits that in effect ban travel to and from its two neighboring nations. Both the Chinese government and media outlets have not raised any issue concerning the entry ban, describing it as “understandable.” It is analyzed that China’s reactions symbolically demonstrate the relationship between Beijing and Tokyo that has recently been improving.

“Both China and Japan are taking science-based, professional and appropriate measures in order to protect the health and safety of their nationals and foreigners and uphold regional and global public health security, which I believe we all understand,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian talked about Japan’s entry limits on Thursday. “The two sides are in close communication through diplomatic channels.” His remarks imply that Tokyo gave advance notice to Beijing.

Even China’s state-run media Global Times used the word “understand” in the title of an article posted on its official social media account reporting a 14-day quarantine on travelers from China and South Korea that has recently been announced by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

On Weibo, the Chinese social media network, few comments criticized Japan’s measures explicitly although many users poured out their concerns and inquiries about invalidation of tourist visas issued to Chinese citizens. In a comment on an article regarding Japan’s entry ban, a Weibo user argued that Japan is not to blame given that China took the same action in an emergency situation at an earlier time while proposing that Seoul should do the same.

In some sense, such reaction from the Chinese government and media outlets is interpreted as a justification for the 14-day quarantine measure against travelers from Japan and South Korea taken earlier in many Chinese regions under the pretext to contain the outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 that can be caused by incoming visitors.

Wan-Jun Yun zeitung@donga.com